What genitourinary and GI history should be obtained in patients with suspected anemia?

Updated: Oct 08, 2018
  • Author: Joseph E Maakaron, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

In searching for blood loss, carefully document pregnancies, abortions, and menstrual loss. Estimates of menstrual losses are notoriously inaccurate if only routine inquiry is made.

Often, patients do not appreciate the significance of tarry stools. Changes in bowel habits can be useful in uncovering neoplasms of the colon. Hemorrhoidal blood loss is difficult to quantify, and it may be overlooked or overestimated from one patient to another. Obviously, seek a careful history of gastrointestinal complaints that may suggest gastritis, peptic ulcers, hiatal hernias, or diverticula. Abnormal urine color can occur in renal and hepatic disease and in hemolytic anemia.


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